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Ultrasound bladder scans 'cut catheterisation need'

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Using the ultrasound bladder scanner reduces unnecessary catheterisation of patients with urinary tract infections, a new analysis of studies has shown.

The scanner was found to help define and monitor the volume of urine in patients, allowing more effective use of catheters.

Acute urinary retention is common after operations, and prevents patients from emptying the bladder.

Measuring urinary residue with the ultrasound scanner allows nurses to evaluate retention of urine, thereby avoiding unnecessary catheterisation.

Two researchers looked at data spanning a long period: from January 1986 to February 2008. They retrieved a total of 61 articles, although 58 were left out for failing to meet inclusion criteria.

The study concluded that systematic use of the scanner in the perioperative period is likely to increase appropriate catheterisation use and cut down on the discomfort experienced by patients, as well as reducing costs and the number of days patients need to stay in hospital.

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